Random topic: The Big Wedding and Whitewashing

Hey guys! I have been thinking about doing this for a while now. I wanted to start a sort of section (?) in my blog where I discuss or more like write about random topics. Sometimes I want to write about things here but I feel like I can’t because they come from nowhere. Like maybe about a movie that premiered a long ago and I just watched. Or an old book, or something about Harry Potter, you get the idea?

Anyway yesterday I watched The Big Wedding (2013) with Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon between other known actors (Ben Barnes, Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, etc.) It called my attention for the amount of great actors it had and also because I love Robert De Niro.

It was a really bad movie overall, the plot was predictable, full of jokes that had the intention of making you laugh but failed miserably and kind of aimless as well. Like a really, really bad comedy you knew it was going to be bad because no one knows about it and you thought you might have seen one of the actors in one of Grey’s Anatomy’s episodes but you’re not quite sure except this movie had A list actors that you can’t really understand how is it that they ended up agreeing to make this movie in the first place.

But that was not what bothered me. Yeah because if I’m going to start this Random Section thing in my blog might as well do it to complain about things. What made me hate this movie was the fact that they used Ben Barnes, a known english actor, they tanned him a bit and used him to portray a colombian young man who was adopted by a north american family. They even made him speak spanish.

I know this is not new. Hollywood does it all the time, they whitewash even the tiniest characters with no importance. However, I cannot help but be mad about it. Cause it wasn’t just that. Alejandro’s (Ben Barnes character) biological mother was from Colombia and was supposed to come with her other daughter to his wedding. She was supposed to be this really religious woman who prayed and stuff. Stereotyping much? Not only that stereotype but his biological sister was supposed to be this really promiscuous girl who jacked off Alejandro’s brother (the one from the north american family, not the colombian. That would be incest and even if they weren’t blood related they still both were Alejandro’s siblings so it was kind of weird)

So it’s like that for South America, we are seen as religious prudes or we are whores who only think of sex. I also know it’s not only with Latinos. Ghost in the Shell (2017), a movie adaptation of a japanese manga is getting boycotted because Scarlett Johansson, one of Hollywood’s most whitest actresses probably is portraying Motoko Kusanagi. A character that should have been given to an actual japanese actress. Which for me was really devastating since I used to admire Scarlett Johansson. Her trying to defend her decision on why she thought it was okay to pursue the role didn’t help at all.

But because I’m latina I thought maybe I told you a little more about other roles that were supposed to be for Latinos but ended up going for american actors.

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones in Zorro

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Though Shakira and Salma Hayek were considered for the role of Elena in Zorro, Catherine Zeta-Jones ended up playing her in both movies Zorro, and The Mask of the Zorro. I do think that these were spanish characters from spain and not South America. even though a lot of South American countries have spanish heritage. (Take me for example half of my family comes from Spain)

  • Al Pacino in Scarface

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In famous movie Scarface he plays the role of Tony Montana, a Cuban drug kingpin.

  • Meryl Streep (and others) in The House of The Spirits

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I love Meryl Streep just as much as the next person however in 1993 she portrayed Clara Trueba in the movie The House of The Spirits based in the book by chilean author, Isabel Allende. The movie is set in Chile and the filmmakers decided to cast Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close and Winona Ryder.

  • Ethan Hawke in Alive

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Are you guys familiar with the famous case of the uruguayan rugbiers who got stuck in Los Andes after their plane crashed? It was really well-known because a lot of the rugbiers who survived had to to resort to anthropophagy, meaning they had to eat their dead friends to survive (yeah that’s a  horrible way of putting it) Anyway I guess it was a good plot for a movie because in 1993 Hollywood decided to make the movie casting Ethan Hawke as Fernando ‘Nando’ Parrado, the Uruguayan rugbier.

  • Hank Azaria in The Birdcage

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In the movie The Birdcage, Azaria portrays the  role of a gay Guatemalan housekeeper. He won a SAG award for his role.

  • Johnny Depp in Before Night Falls

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In Before Night Falls he plays two cuban characters, Lt. Victor and Bon Bon, a drag queen. Javier Bardem, a spanish actor won an oscar for playing Reinaldo Arenas, the cuban poet and novelist.

  • Madonna in Evita

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This one hits home. Madonna portrayed Eva Peron, the famous argentine first lady in the movie Evita. I’m not even going to comment on this one.

  • Natalie Wood in West Side Story

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In this movie, where two street gangs are rivals, on of them is puerto rican and though they did cast Rita Moreno as Anita and that earned her an Oscar, they also casted Natalie Wood as Maria, bummer.

There’s a lot more actors and actresses who have accepted roles that could have easily been portrayed by latino actors, black actors, asian actors. And thought it always comes in question whether the filmmakers or the actors should carry the blame, remember the filmmakers do the casting but the actors also accept the roles.

source: Latina Magazine

Hope we read each other soon!

P.S: I don’t hate any of the actors by the way (except Johnny Depp, I don’t like him) I do think that they should have thought about if before accepting those roles.

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